WANDERERS have turned down an offer from Cardiff City for top-scorer Gary Madine.

The Bolton News understands the Welsh club made a “seven-figure” bid for the nine-goal target man last week but were told he is not for sale.

Sunderland have also been linked with a move for Madine, who is enjoying his most prolific Championship season to date.

Phil Parkinson has made it a matter of priority to keep hold of his top stars in the January window and has been given assurances by chairman Ken Anderson he will not be forced to cash in on players.

“We have to make sure we come out of this month in a strong position, other teams around us will improve so we’ve got to make sure we come out of it ready to tackle the second part of the league season,” said the Wanderers boss. “We’d be crazy to sell any of our key players at this stage, the chairman has said several times he intends to keep hold of everybody.

“He’s backing us which is good to hear but it’s logical as well because we’ve worked very hard to get out of the bottom three and we’ve got to make sure we stay strong because it’s going to be really competitive.”

Wanderers have refused to comment on the Cardiff bid but sources in the Welsh capital claim Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan has funds at his disposal to sign a striker to get them back into promotion frame.

Neil Warnock’s side have dropped off the pace slightly since they were beaten 2-0 at the Macron on December 23 and have now lost their last four league games.

Interest is said to be high among Championship clubs for Madine, who signed a new two-year deal in the summer to stay with Bolton until 2019.

The striker has reinvented himself in the North West, spearheading the Whites’ attack in last season’s promotion campaign. His total for this season – nine – puts him 12th on the division’s scoring list.

Only three other players – Wolves’ Diogo Jota, Bristol City’s Bobby Reid and Sheffield United’s Leon Clarke – have had more shots on target.